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In a bit of a panic - are there any part-private options for birth? Please help me!

(33 Posts)
bracingair Mon 09-Mar-09 13:50:08

Before I get jumped on for considering private I had a horrendous time on the NHS - think big london teaching hospital where they would love to care but dont have the time.

So I though i would go private and actually my insurance would partly cover. But it is not covering as much as I though it would. And the consultants i was recommended are both away for half term.

The thing is, I'm not really interested in private ante-natal care, scans etc. I just want to know who the person helping me deliver is before the birth so that i can really trust them. Im also repulsed at the thought of the showers, bathrooms etc i had after the birth, andI have heard you cant gurantee a private room after birth in an NHS hospital. (Knowing my caregiver is much much important to me though)

What are my options? I would have an independant midwife but only want to give birth in hospital so not sure it works. I also called up the midwife led unit in C&W (or was St Thomas) but they dont accept vbacs.

Please help! Thanks!

LackaDAISYcal Mon 09-Mar-09 14:00:29

would you consider an independant midwife and a home birth? There are some lovely doula types on here who can advise further though I'm sure re MLUs and VBACs.

....and I doubt you'd be jumped on for considering private, more for the fact that you seem to want the best of both worlds...the free care that the NHS provides, but with nicer facilities.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 09-Mar-09 14:01:25

another alternative is to actually have a doula who will be with you for the birth, or your independant MW can take on a doula role for you when you go to the hospital.

turtle23 Mon 09-Mar-09 14:03:24

Have you looked at this place or considered an Independent Midwife? I am only a trainee doula, but if you would like to chat please feel free to email me on info at sarahhopewell dot co dot uk.

birthright Mon 09-Mar-09 14:05:06

I'd recommend getting an Independent midwife anytime. you get one to one care throughout enabling you to build a trusting relationship with your midwife. why not phone a few in your area and discuss what they offer. find your nearest independent midwives at

claire002 Mon 09-Mar-09 14:09:53

Hi there - I've got an independent midwife for my forthcoming birth, and she definitely does hospital births as well as home births. Depends what you want, and whats best for you and baby. Only thing is, in a hospital, most of their health and safety rules mean that she can't be your 'official' midwife, so more present as an advocate for you - but you can check with your hospital to see what their policy is, I know some do let an IM be the main midwife. Even if not, you just end up with two midwives rather than one!

bracingair Mon 09-Mar-09 14:12:48

Thank you for such quick responses!

a homebirth would not be a great option for me - i am prone to anxiety and i dont think i would relax when I am about 20 mins away from a hospital.

I did have a doula at my last 2 births and it was great in terms of when i had a c-section i really trusted i needed it (being a second pair of eyes iykswim). But as i was deliveded by an obstretician who was hurrying things too much along etc. I didnt find the doula could really help.

If i take an independant mw into a hospital, what role would she have?

bracingair Mon 09-Mar-09 14:14:07

ah x posts claire - i will phone up my hospital and see what thier policy is

snickersnack Mon 09-Mar-09 14:15:45

bracingair - not sure who you spoke to, but the midwife-led unit at Tommies definitely does accept VBACs if you go about it the right way! I was booked in to have one there - when it came to it, ds's heartrate was causing concern, so I delivered in the consultant-led unit but I was certainly all set to use the Home from Home. If that's something you'd consider, very happy to talk you through the process I went through.

I'm not sure having a VBAC is the primary issue for you. Totally agree with the cleanliness - C&W was filthy, but Tommies was spotless. For me, continuity of care was important but I actually concluded it was more important to have someone to speak up for me - hence I got a doula.

Your experience sounds a lot like mine - I was fairly traumatised by my first birth, and seriously considered all the options you've outline, but then concluded we didn't have the money, and I had a lovely VBAC at Tommies even despite the fact it wasn't exactly where I planned.

turtle23 Mon 09-Mar-09 14:17:23

oops...that should be this

Bubbaluv Mon 09-Mar-09 14:23:59

Some consultants at C&W will do a deal on "delivery only" or similar. Worth calling and asking about that option.

bracingair Mon 09-Mar-09 14:27:08

it must have the C&W unit that does not accept vbacs. Snickersnack where you in The Birth Centre?

The Birth Centre looks just right, only problem they are really far from me NW London

NotQuiteCockney Mon 09-Mar-09 14:27:20

What you want is an independent midwife who is familiar with your chosen hospital. Mine had done lots of bank work at our local hospital (her midwifery supervisor worked at the hospital), so, although, legally, she was only in the hospital with me as a "supporter", actually, she was properly there, and a real support. (I had sections both times, but still ... worth it.)

SausageRoleModel Mon 09-Mar-09 14:29:01

Could you transfer yur care to kings at denmark hill or are you further west? There is an NHS midwifery practice who would be brilliant for you but they are based in SE15. They are called The Albany, and they are strong advocates of non-intervention unless absolutely necessary and definitely what the woman wants. They would absolutely "fight your corner" in hospital and because they are NHS and linked to Kings they can be your "official" miwdife in th hospital, unlike an independent one. If the geography is wrong I would suggest finding out what midwifery prctices attached to CX or tommy's hopsital prctice "caseload" instead of "teamwork", which at least would mean you should see the same person each time. I also second what the others on the thread have said about having an independent midwife.

bracingair Mon 09-Mar-09 14:40:57

thats sounds brilliant but is really far. My nearest hospital is Royal Free, then Edgware Hospital and then UCLH. Edgware hopsital does have a birthing centre but considering my two birth - water gone at least two days before, muconium etc, i would really prefer being in a larger hospital.

I guess the thing to find out is if UCLH or Royal Free have a similar set up. Of those two i prefer UCLH as i did have some really caring doctors there (which made me realize that a caring doc makes all the difference, hence not wanting to leave it to chance...hence wanting private!!)

bracingair Mon 09-Mar-09 16:10:12

just got off the phone to UCLH. An independant mw would just be your advocate in hospital. Insurance-wise they wouldn't be able to do anything! This is really fustrating. THe MW on the phone understood my desire to know my 'active' midwife before birth etc. but coudnt really advise anything so back to square 1 sad

snickersnack Mon 09-Mar-09 16:12:34

Actually, the Birth Centre in Tooting is a great idea. They do packages where you can opt in at any point in your pregnancy (if they have space) so you could have your antenatal care elsewhere.

They are hugely pro-VBAC and their rates are good. And it sounds lovely - I did look into it at about 32 weeks, but they were full, otherwise I would have been tempted.

snickersnack Mon 09-Mar-09 16:14:23

Sorry, I should have read your thread more carefully - you're too far away. Do you really think you are too far away? A friend lives in Chiswick and had her baby at Johns and Lizzies, which was fine. Presumably the NHS Birth Centre in Edgeware is out of your area...

nina99 Mon 09-Mar-09 16:14:47

Hi why don't u try and contact Amanda Mansfield our Consultant midwife at the RFree who is very keen on supporting and promoting mums considering VBAC.U can get hold of her via the hosp SBrd & could ask for an appt to talk about the options!Let me know if u have any difficulties!

bundle Mon 09-Mar-09 16:15:17

the only independent midwife I know of who's "allowed" in to hospitals is the famous Mary Cronk (Chichester - has arrangement with her local hospital because they know and trust her) - but she's pretty much retired now I think and when I saw her said she was only delivering babies for women she'd already worked for.

The medical care I received at the Whittington hospital was fantastic, the post-natal care less so (though I did get a private room, I shared the loo with one other woman) - would you consider it?

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 09-Mar-09 16:16:01

The Lindo wing at St Mary's offers what you are after; NHS ante natal with private delivery. I used somewhere else in the end but it is a major teaching hospital and I've heard great things (sorry haven't read the rest of the thread so this might be repeating what someone else has suggested).

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 09-Mar-09 16:18:15

PS, if you can afford fully private, I used John and Lizzies which was really, really amazing. My insurance covered me for all of it.

bundle Mon 09-Mar-09 16:18:59

I thought she was asking for continuity of care, not just private delivery

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 09-Mar-09 16:21:00

Yes you're probably right in which case with the Lindo wing although you wouldn't have the same people doing the ante natal care as delivering, you would be able to meet the consultant delivering you in advance and be sure you were happy with him/ her. At John and Lizzies I had continuity of care throughout.

curlywurlycremeegg Mon 09-Mar-09 16:34:49

You will be hard pushed to find an IM who could "deliver" your baby in a hospital now. This is because CNST have advised hospitals to withdraw honary contracts for IMs to what they percieve as a "legal loophole" for litigation. It's a load of rubbish, but when has that ever stopped NHS execs? FWIW an IM may be a lot more money than a Doula, however you will have their medical knowledge to help you make what could be difficult decisions. The weight of this often makes the other HPs you will come into contact with take more notice of your wishes, not that you should have to have an IM with you to have your wishes respected. They could also support you to labour at home until you feel the need to transfer to hospital, like a DOMINO birth. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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